Polluted Sludge May be Turned to Roads


Road centerline.

A Nova Scotia company says it could turn polluted sludge from Boat Harbour into a non-toxic construction material, offering an alternative to the current plan to permanently store the dredged sediment in a massive tank on site. 

According to CEO Stephen Mader, the alternative solution is affordable and “probably the best environmental solution.” The process is also the most affordable way to deal with toxic waste, according to the company. "Once we've processed the toxic and hazardous material, there's nothing left but a glassy rock substance that's inert and safe to be used for road construction," he said.

First, the company has to build the processing facility following government approval. Once approved, the Boat Harbour cleanup isn’t the only job the company wants to take on, according to the article. The proposed facility could take all kinds of waste that would typically end up in a landfill, turning the waste into “molten slag.” As it cools, the material hardens and can be broken up, then recycled for civil construction projects. 

The current plan is to store the waste in a 17-acre tank that sits next to the polluted lagoon. Once full, the tank would be capped and covered in soil and vegetation. 

Although Nova Scotia Lands has said the containment cell is a safe way to store the sludge, many members of Pictou Landing First Nation, which is adjacent to Boat Harbour, say it’s not an acceptable solution.